The Rise of “Environmental Sustainability Knowledge” in Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship: An IT-Enabled Knowledge-Based View of Tourism Operators

The Rise of “Environmental Sustainability Knowledge” in Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship: An IT-Enabled Knowledge-Based View of Tourism Operators

Jean Marie Ip-Soo-Ching (La Trobe University, Australia) and Suzanne Zyngier (La Trobe University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6543-9.ch014

Abstract

This chapter articulates a conceptual framework to analyse the management of environmental sustainability knowledge in tourism that is underpinned by both the knowledge-based view of the firm (Grant, 1996; Spender, 1996) and the KM Life Cycle (Liebowitz & Beckman, 1998; Salisbury, 2012). This deliberate management of knowledge enables NTOs to build a knowledge-base about the natural environment and to use that knowledge for environmental sustainability, business sustainability, and local community education. Ten NTOs in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam were investigated to analyse their KM of environmental sustainability. In supporting the knowledge-based view and KM of environmental sustainability knowledge, a further conceptual framework is also advanced for the analysis of how Information Technology enables environmental sustainability knowledge to be created, captured, shared, and applied at NTOs among their staff, customers, and communities.
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Dependence On The Natural Environment For Ongoing Success

Tourism is a salient discipline, industry, and sector in which to investigate environmental sustainability knowledge and its management because nature-based tourism operators (NTOs) are directly involved and dependent on the quality of the natural environment on which their operations have environmental impacts. The tourism industry is highly dependent on the quality of the natural environment in which it operates (Butler 1991; Hunter and Green 1995; Australian Government Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism 2008). The tourism industry relies on the sustainability of its natural environment because the sustainable development of tourism depends on the quality and integrity of the natural environment as key selling points (Kokkrannikal 2003; Giannoni and Maupertius 2007). The favourable natural environmental quality of destinations in terms of beaches, coral reef, mountains, and forests, forms the many attractions of tourism destinations that tourists have come to enjoy (Hall and Lew 1998). Mathison and Walls (1982) commented that the natural environment is the foundation of a tourism destination because in the absence of an attractive environment, there would be very few tourism attractions.

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